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Inanna, Lady of Largest Heart : Poems of the Sumerian High Priestess Enheduanna Hardcover – February 1, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-0292752412 ISBN-10: 0292752415 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press; 1st edition (February 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0292752415
  • ISBN-13: 978-0292752412
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,281,152 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"That these poems deal immediately with the very popular 'goddess literature' and with an individual woman in a most important historical situation should give this work widespread appeal." --John Maier, SUNY College at Brockport, cotranslator of the Epic of Gilgamesh

Review

That these poems deal immediately with the very popular 'goddess literature' and with an individual woman in a most important historical situation should give this work widespread appeal. (John Maier, SUNY College at Brockport, cotranslator of the Epic of Gilgamesh) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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The book is good enough without a regurgitatory summation of other secondary sources.
ilmk
The poems were written by Enhudenna, he greatest poet who ever lived, whose work survived centuries and was placed alongside the writings of kings.
s. berger
There is so much in this book which is so beautifully written- the poems alone are worth it.
Michelle W. Hart

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Michelle W. Hart on February 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is the book I have been waiting for since I first learned about Enheduanna, the first known writer of the ancient world and high priestess of the Sumerian moon god and was transfixed by her words: "But I am Enheduanna, pure and shining high priestess of the moon God!" I couldn't believe that a real priestess, wrote about herself in the first person, 4,000 years ago, as if she was talking directly to me. Ever since, I have had to trudge through dense, scholarly books and articles to learn any details I could about Enheduanna and now after 5 years this book comes along putting all the pieces, and I mean ALL the pieces together- and it far exceeds what I was hoping for. Meador has culled all the best information about Enheduanna and Inanna--from the overwhelming and hard-to-sift-through scholarly resources on Mesopotamia. She has hand-picked important quotes from women's studies, Jungian psychology, the ancient near east, and comparative anthropology and synthesized it all here, accessibly and VERY thought- provokingly! Meador has translated from the original Sumerian cuneiform three of Enheduanna's poems and presented them in a modern, delicious, poetic style for maximum accessiblity to today's audience. Through Meador's painstaking efforts and through her insightful and outstanding analysis Enheduanna emerges as a literary genius and surprisingly, as a theological radical! The latter was completely unexpected so I won't give away the details. This book is an incredible journey into a numinous, symbolic, mystical language, uncovering a new layer of the evolution of human consciousness, particularly from a female perspective. There is so much in this book which is so beautifully written- the poems alone are worth it.Read more ›
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By N. Jacobs on March 28, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As someone intensely interested in Inanna, as well as the ancient Sumerian gods and religeon, this book was exactly what I needed to better understand some of the most important concepts.
Three complete poems of Enheduanna are represented here, and just the first one, "Inanna and Mount Ebih," is well worth the price of this book alone. There are many other small poems, little titbits of the ancient Sumerian hymns, which are equally enlightening. The translations, as well as the original texts are beautifully done, reading easily as poetry. If you like goddesses and you like poetry, this is a good thing to check out!
I already own "Inanna: Queen of Heaven and of Earth," by Wolkstein, so I am well familiar to Inanna as a goddess of love and warmth. The texts contained in this book are the exact opposite; many show the violent side of Inanna. But this is exactly what is important, because Inanna is a goddess of duality, that symbolizes at many time's man's ancient connection with the spirit and his natural instincts. In ancient Mesopotamia, gods were often feared for their great powers, and harshness upon those that wronged them. Its great to have a new point of view, especially one that is as powerful as this. For the serious student, I'd reccomend getting both books, that way you can have a really clear picture of the glory of Inanna.
The author spends a lot of time giving information about the ancient Sumerian customs, which I find to be very useful. For example, the Sumerian marriage rite, which I had never known much about.
Now, I do have one complaint about this book. The author tends to include WAY too many references to the Bible, as well as a really strong feminist view point.
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39 of 46 people found the following review helpful By ilmk on March 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
This up-to-date rendition of Sumerian religious poetry and hymns can be reviewed in two areas. The first: that of the theories around the poems/hymns; the second: the actual translations. Five stars the latter, two stars the former.
The first part is given over to discussion of the Sumerian culture and the mythology of Inanna. The first chapter dupes as an intro and is autobiographical, which is nice, as it's good to see why an author has chosen to write any book. Chapter Two could be summed up by the statement that Inanna is "all encompassing", but the author chooses to spend a dozen pages saying it. To be honest you can safely ignore Chapter Two. Chapter Three is far better, giving a succinct history of pre-Sumerian cultures during the Ubaid period. Chapter Four is also very good as Meador gives a history of the archaeology of the Sumerian period. It continues through Chaprter 5 with an interpretation of Enheduanna's life. Several interpretative anomalies and assumptive theories leap out in chapters 5 to 7. For example, the single disk that was found stating: "Enheduanna..., daughter of Sargon" is interpreted as literal, even though, as the author acknowledges, this presents a dichotomy (as other Sumerian scholars also acknowledge) of incestuous rituals described in Chap6, pg 61. Given all these scholars and the author agree it presents a problem it might be prudent to theorize that the term `daughter' is ritualistic and not literal. But, by taking the literal interpretation, it has allowed the author to present a full princessly/priestessly life of Eduhanna with no primary source to back it up.
Chapter 7 begins to discuss the 42 hymns and 3 poems. Hymn 8 speaks of the `seven seas' which throws up all kinds of questions, given the relatively modern usage of the term.
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